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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  August 10, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PDT

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defending obama care. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight president obama throws down the gauntlet on republicans launching an all-out offensive against republican threats to cripple his signature achievement, obama care. in a press conference late today the president was defiant. at times he almost seemed to taunt republicans when it came to their threat to shut down the government over the issue. in attacks that were swift and surgical, he began by calling out the republican fixation of obstructionism. >> the really interesting
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question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number one priority. the one unifying principle in the republican party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care. that's hard to understand as an agenda that's going to strengthen our middle class. >> and this was his response to tea party leaders like ted cruz, rand paul and mike lee who are championing a government shutdown if the obama care law is not defunded. >> the idea that you would shut down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea. what you should be thinking about is how can we advance and
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improve ways for middle class families to have some security so that if they work hard they can get ahead. >> you'll hear more from the president shortly, but the bottom line is this. this was perhaps the most impassioned defense of the law that we've seen from him to date. it has democrats everywhere asking what took you so long. to break it all down we welcome in chuck todd, nbc's chief white house correspondent and the host of "the daily rundown." an chris cillizza, msnbc political analyst with "the washington post." chuck, you know this president so well, was this calculated, or do you think he got caught up in the moment of responding to that particular question? >> oh, it's hard to say. i think this has been getting under his skin for a while. so calculated's probably not the word i would use, but i think he wanted to make sure that he drew a line, was a bit more defiant. he's been getting a lot of grief behind the scenes saying you've got to sell this law better, you've got to do this.
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and i heard more clarity from him than i have in a while on this. of course, the real test of all this, michael, is going to be is he start going on the road and proactively doing this rather than doing this when he's asked a question about health care but proactively going out on the road and selling this and selling implementation. he's going to have to. he's got to turn these poll numbers around, or he is going to find moving congress on this is going to be a lot harder. republicans just sit there and they look at the scoreboard. and they say, guess what, half the country thinks it's a bad idea. less than 40% thinks this law's a good idea. >> well, to your point, let me show some polling data on the issue of whether it's a good or bad idea. there it is, good idea 34%, bad idea 47%. chris cillizza, you know, i follow you in all your social media. you did say get ready for the sixthness or so question. i think you had a-rod in mind. but this is the one that ended up generating all the news. >> you know, chuck makes the right point, which is the president has not given this
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sort of passionate defense of his law that many hoped. i think that this is an interesting way that he did it. he didn't -- i mean he did defend obama care broadly, but it was in the context of sort of a dare. and, michael, i think you used that word, sort of a challenge. be my guest if you want to try to link defunding obama care to a government shutdown. i think he's on safer political ground there though the law broadly is not possible. the idea of shutting down government over health care and unfunding i think is also popular. i think that's why you've seen people like mitt romney earlier this week in new hampshire come out and say we should not do this strategically. this is a bad move for the party. you've seen other governors come out and say you should not do this. i think obama feels he has the higher political ground when it comes to linking that defunding of obama care to shutting down the government. because he probably wins that fight. >> it's not only the issue of shutting down the government,
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chuck, the president was quick to point out republicans don't have a real alternative to his health care law. listen to this. >> they used to say, well, we're going to replace it with something better. there's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better. the notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefitting from the other aspects of affordable care, will be better off without it. that's their assertion, not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence. it's just become an ideological fixation. well, i tell you what, they're wrong about that. >> chuck todd, what will be the response to that? and part b of my question, is the president also taking advantage of the fact that he's pretty much the only person in town so there can't be a coherent reply offered by the gop per se? >> well, that's right. but you're going to hear, i think, conservatives are going
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to hear that and say, hey, that's an unfair strawman. look at what he's trying to do, he's trying to paint us as anti-poor or we don't want poor people to get health care. but i tell you, it was, yes, the president likes to use strawman arguments, but that is a tough message for him to do. you know, both sides use straw men to make their arguments. we've heard what the republicans do when it comes to what they believe the health care law's going to do, whether it's on the economy, whether it's on job creation and things like that. so the president i think pushing back i think it's only going to increase the amount of rhetoric from the right in sort of pushing back on his statement that somehow they don't care about these 30 million people that don't have health care, that they don't want them somehow to get health care. so i think you'll see an increase in the rhetoric, but i think this is a case where the white house believes they may not be on the right side of public opinion about the overall law, but as chris pointed out, they believe they're on the right side of public opinion on this idea that you gum up the works and you create more
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gridlock to try to stop it. >> well, chuck, you make the point the question remains will the president now go on the road and speak with such passion? but, chris, cillizza, i think a corresponding question is does he get any support? because the president may not have sold this to date, but he sure hasn't had the assistance of his own party to try and sell this message. >> well, you know, i think it's sort of one of those things should i take the first step, do you want to take the first step. >> yes. >> everyone in some ways is waiting. he is, ultimately, michael, he's the biggest politician in the democratic party and in either party. i think if he wants people to follow, he is going to have to take the lead. now, i will say i think he's much more comfortable making the argument that republicans are cutting off their nose top spite their face on this. forget what you think about the health care law, the idea of defunding something that is law, threatening that in exchange for government shutdown that is an issue i think he feels more strongly about. i can tell you and i agree with chuck on this.
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ideological fixation, the words the president used to describe republicans voting to repeal part of all of obama care, yeah, that's not going to go down so well in the republican party. they are not going to have warmer relations after today. >> well, chuck, despite the attacks on the republican insurgency against his health care law and the threat to shut down the government over the issue, the president did say he thinks in the end common sense will prevail. here it is. >> the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery's getting some traction, where we're growing although not as fast as we need to, where the housing market is recovering although not as fast as we would like, that we would precipitate another crisis here in washington that no economist thinks is a good idea. i'm assuming that they will not take that path. i have confidence that common
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sense in the end will prevail. >> chuck todd, do you have confidence that in the end common sense will prevail? >> no leader of the republican party, and i say that leader of the republican party, wants to pursue this path. the question i have though is how do they stop it? inertia, can they come up with an alternative way? can they rally their party in such a way that says -- cause they're not going to get cooperation from democrats on trying to somehow find a stopgap measure here. can they find some way to appease the tea party wing of the party that really wants this, that wants some sort of stand on principles and all of this to try to force this vote? can they come up with a compromise that appeases them in some form, but also can get through? look, i think -- i know the leaders don't want to do this, boehner, mcconnell, you name it, i don't know how they stop it. i don't see a clear plan by them coming up, the tea party rode to power by disrupting
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members of congress at town hall meetings. their beef then was obama care. and now they're at it again. they want it defunded, dismantled, destroyed and ready to take the country down because of it. and darrell issa wants america's coastal waters renamed for ronald reagan. tonight, i'm proud to declare that the area between 4 and 7 feet off the ground the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. >> much more of that tonight in the side show. this is "hardball," the place for politics. new roc® multi correxion has an exclusive 5 in 1 formula it's clinically proven to hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness lift sagging diminish the look of dark spots and smooth the appearance of wrinkles together these 5 elements create ageless looking skin
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tea party wants to know, will you vote with mike lee and meadows here to defund obama care, yes or no? >> would you like to hear the thoughtful answer? no. let me tell you why. you got your answer. let me tell you why. it takes 60 votes. we only have 12 votes. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was republican congressman pittenger explaining to disgruntled constituents at a town hall monday why he's voting against defunding obama care. four years ago angry protests erupted at town hall meetings across the country. they formed a tea party wave that swept over obama care and swept a new breed of republicans into power in the congress in 2010. and tea party anger wasn't just related to obama care, remember at this town hall where former delaware congressman michael cassel was confronted by a voter
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who demonstrated a new level of vitreal and viciousness? >> i want to go back to january 20th and i want to know why are you people ignoring his birth certificate? he is not an american citizen. he is a citizen of kenya. i am american. my father fought in world war ii with the greatest generation in the pacific theater for this country. and i don't want this flag to be changed. i want my country back. >> angry vitreal at town halls in 2010 was an early sign of the republican coming sweep at the polls. are we seeing any harbingers of a 2014 wave, on way or the other? with me now republican strategist rick tyler who is the president for the strategy group and aisha moodie-mills for the center for american progress. aisha, read the tea leaves thus
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far. are there any issues out there that are popping? are there any signs of a coming wave like we saw in 2010? >> well, i think there's a sign of a wave that's coming, but it's going to be the opposite of what we saw in 2010. >> how so? >> the republicans have spent years making this anti-obama care bed, and now they're going to have to lie in it. you're seeing this civil war of infighting happening. and i think that it's really going to crash and burn them. >> but you know, rick, passion sells especially in primary season, and especially on the gop side of the aisle. might this mark a reemergence of tea party candidates, even those who can win a primary but never win a general election? >> well, aside from the latter point of your assertion, yes. i do think this could be a harbinger as it was in 2009 that was a real movement. not only reflected in the polls, but clearly reflected in the vote. i think we picked up 56, it was a historic republican sweep.
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and if the left is deathly afraid we're in a repeat here. because there is a narrative here. it's a meta-narrative. we have people who don't trust the government on nsa spying. we have people that don't trust the government with the irs declining conservative organizations. we have benghazi, which we don't hear enough about. and now we're going to have the irs implement obama care. it's not defunding obama care. obama care hasn't been funded. so the real question is will we vote to fund obama care or not, not defund. and it's certainly not the republicans who would shut the government down. it would be president clinton -- president obama. of course i don't think it would get to his desk. but by virtue of him not signing or vetoing the budget. that would shut the government down. >> let me show you something, congressman pittenger took a defiant approach to attendees who asked to vote to defund obama care even though he tried to explain why it would be pointless. and the crowd did not like what they heard. >> we lose over there, then they come back to us in the house. you win this battle by going
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after -- we look at your -- we look at how we can win. do you think harry reid is going to -- >> it doesn't matter what harry reid does, we need to show the american people we stand for conservative values -- >> aisha, the passion still seems to be on the right side of the aisle. you're telling me that you think there's potentially a wave coming of democratic support in time for the 2014 cycle, but you don't see that anecdotally. >> here's what you're seeing. you're actually seeing cheers and jeers coming at the republicans. they're getting flak from both sides. americans who are democrats and americans who are republicans are really frustrated with them. i mean, for a couple of reasons. we have a poll that came out that showed that most people, the vast majority of people, really think that we should at the very least be improving upon -- at the most i should say, be improving upon obama care and to leave it as it stands.
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so every time they try to repeal or they try to defund, they're turning people off on both sides be it tea partiers who are technically on their side of the aisle, or other democrats. and i think this is going to be bad news for the gop in general. >> rick, in another part of north carolina, pittenger's colleague, patrick mchenry, a staunch opponent of obama care faced his constituents in a town hall. but in a surprising turn of events, his constituents wanted to know why he won't support obama care in the first place because some of them say it's helping. here's the tape. >> yes? >> i'm from east ashville. i'm 63. my wife is 63. and without obama care we would have no health insurance. i would like to ask you and the republican party to answer the question why do i not have a moral right in access to health care if you want to defund obama care which is by law and policy going to save billions of dollars over the next ten years?
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>> rick, anecdotally in the 2014 cycle there will be those individuals whether they're young americans who now can remain on their parents plan when heretofore they couldn't do so. or maybe someone who had preexisting conditions who couldn't get health now can get health insurance. there will be those faces to associate with stories like presumably that man's that the gop will have to respond to if they thwart this removing forward. thank you very much, rick tyler. we appreciate your being here. up next, running out of people to alienate in this country. anthony weiner's now taking on the germans and the brits. and please remember, you can listen to my radio program weekday mornings at 9:00 eastern. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball" now for the side show, congressman darryll issa introduced a bill last month that would rename nearly all of america's coastline waters after our 40th president, ronald reagan. the proposed legislation would include 3.4 million square nautical miles stretching 200 miles out from u.s. shores. so if you're hitting the beach this summer, know you may soon be honoring reagan's legacy every time you take a dip. stephen colbert liked the idea so much that he's proposing another way to honor the former president. take a look. >> there's no place on earth too large or too arbitrary to honor the gipper's legacy. that's why tonight i am proud to declare that the area between four and seven feet off the ground the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. [ laughter ] this, folks, this is the storied swath of american atmosphere
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within which ronald reagan's very own mouth was often found. i'm feeling a little woozy. i think i might sit down in the walter mondale, don't stand up for america's zone. >> next, new york mayoral candidate anthony weiner isn't winning any friends in the foreign press. the candidate showed off his surgically side last night as he surly side last night knocked on doors in harlem. he was making fun of germany with an awkward exchange from a reporter from "der spiegel". >> this? >> no, no. >> no doors, right? >> no. >> just gates. just thatch and huts, right? you have like plumbing and stuff like that? like indoor plumbing? >> no, no. >> flush toilets? >> no. that's why i'm here. >> i know. this must be a great assignment for you. >> in fairness, he tried to clarify to that reporter that he was only kidding.
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i guess it was hard to tell at the time, but then several minutes later he gave this snarky interview to a british reporter from itv who asked him about his motive for running. >> is it ambition? is it a hunger for the big job the power? >> hard to take you seriously. no, it has to do with wanting to be mayor of the city of new york and wanting to help the middle class and those struggling to make it. >> what is it you want to do for this city? >> the hunger for the big job. >> would anything stop you? >> i just have a feeling i've stepped into a monty python bit. i don't know. would anything stop me? is a rock going to fall on my head? no, nothing's going to stop me. i'm going to win this election. anything else can i do for itv, the weather or anything? it's going to be rainy, cloudy and grey. do what you can, guys. try to keep your head up. keep a -- what is it? stiff upper lip. >> stiff upper lip. good thing weiner doesn't need any votes from the uk or germany.
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that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. [ female announcer ] when you're ready to take skincare to the next level you're ready for roc® new roc® multi correxion has an exclusive 5 in 1 formula it's clinically proven to hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness lift sagging diminish the look of dark spots and smooth the appearance of wrinkles together these 5 elements create ageless looking skin roc® multi correxion 5 in 1 it's high performance skincare™ only from roc®
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